WAEC discuss Science education
“The status of Science education is horrendous especially the Integrated Sciences and Mathematics which are core subjects for school pupils in the Junior Secondary School [JSS] level. There is definitely nothing to write home about especially in external examinations. In our days all the schools had Chemistry, Physics and Biology laboratories where pupils did practicals; sadly we no longer have laboratories and practical are done in the classroom.”
These were the observations of Mr. Sanusi Mustapha Kuyateh who was the Chairman of the seminar organized by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) held at the Council’s office at Tower Hill in Freetown on February 26.
The occasion which schooled not only a high number of school pupils from various institutions of learning but was also graced by teachers and other members of the public was organized by the Freetown section of the Research Division on the theme: “The status of Integrated Science teaching and learning in Sierra Leone.’’.
Mr. Kuyateh told the school children that they are the main beneficiaries of the forum and that they should therefore pay serious attention in order to understand what the session was all about. He pointed out that science education needs a lot to be desired.
“What I fail to agree with is the fact that the first major problem hindering science education is disincentive or poor condition of service for Teachers,’’ he fumed, and advanced that Teachers should have love for what they are doing for posterity.
He opined that the love of money will divert the attention of Teachers from teaching which will lead to the suffering of the children. He stressed that it was important for school children to speak English in and out of school.
In his statement, the Head of National Office of WAEC, Mr. Mohamed Sheriff Sapateh, paid tribute to the Freetown Section of the Research Division for organizing the event.
He noted that since they have the responsibility to deal with issues that have serious impact on our educational system, they should always dialogue with the stakeholders to make sure that education gets the attention it needs.
He pointed out that WAEC is working in line with the conventional framework in ensuring that standards and quality education continue to be the hallmark of our educational system in order to enhance sustainable human development.
He affirmed that the seminar would examine the status of science teaching in our secondary schools, adding that the teaching of science strengthens skills and analysis that are required by modern day society.
He noted that the topic of discussion of the seminar was very appropriate and exiting as it looks at the teaching and learning of the core values of our education system. He described Integrated Science as a core subject that needs great attention. He also observed that when children learn the nation prospers.
He reminded Principals of schools who have yet to submit their DRS entry to do so to avoid candidates being disadvantaged in the next public examinations.
In his deliberation, the Acting Head of Research, WAEC, Mr. M. G. Koroma, said the topic of discussion was timely because Integrate Science is one of the core subjects in the BECE examinations of the 6-3-4-4 system of education.
He said stakeholders were invited to be part of the occasion in order to have close contact with the plan of the Council. He described the forum as an eye opener to candidates and Teachers. He appealed to heads of schools to encourage Science Teachers in schools in order to improve the teaching of science in schools.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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